Kids Club Kampala

Here at Fenn Wright Manson we recognise the power of giving back, with our head office and studios regularly holding bake sales and other fundraising events for charities close to our hearts. However one employee has taken it to the next level, not only donating her time and skills but travelling across the globe to do so. Ruth Lisley, a Junior Garment Technologist in our Head Office studios, has travelled to Uganda to help Kids Club Kampala as they set up their latest program -The Tailoring Project.

Kids Club Kampala is a Ugandan charity that currently works in eighteen of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the urban slums that surround Kampala. People in these communities face overcrowding, poor sanitation, insufficient shelter and food insecurity on a daily basis. These extremely poor families are forced to survive on just one meal a day and many cannot afford to send their children to school, creating a cycle of poverty. Many children in these communities have been neglected, orphaned or even abandoned as a result of these conditions. This is where Kids Club Kampala comes in, the charity is making a huge difference in the lives of these children and individuals, empowering and helping them overcome their situations of poverty through education, community development and initiatives. The charity currently helps over four hundred children and their families a week.

The main program we are supporting is the Tailoring Project- coordinated by Ruth, Ruth will be running the class alongside Elizabeth who also has her own tailoring business. Although Kids Club Kampala has many projects running to help the children, they also have classes and adult initiatives- the Tailoring Project being one of them. The Tailoring Project is a class that teaches women how to sew and make clothes, the purpose of this is to provide a working skill; one they can use to set up their own business and earn an income from for themselves and their children. Women in these classes have either missed out on a full education, had pregnancies young in life and/or are currently unemployed.

 Before the class could start, the team spent four days setting up the sewing room, where everything inside has been donated, including fabrics (donated from our studios) and sewing machines. The class proved very popular, with 30 women signing up for the three month class, however the class only has space for nine people at a time. The aim for the class is to continue permanently with rolling groups and Elizabeth continuing on to teach full time after Ruth has left. The classes run from 8am until 1pm each day, with an age range of women from 17- 35. In the first week of the Tailoring Project the women learnt how to use the machines and then went on to make tops based on Fenn Wright Manson designs using our donated fabrics.

If Ruth’s story has inspired you to give back then there are a few ways you can help the charity. Donation is the simplest way of helping, with your help the Club can make a positive difference to the lives of children and the communities in need within Kampala. You can give a one-off gift or give regularly with a standing order. The next way you can help is by fundraising; could you organise an event to raise vital funds? Think bake sales or sports events. Another way you can make a difference is by sponsoring a child, for £25 a month you can give the gift of education to a child, and help them break the cycle of poverty. Are you like Ruth, do you have a skill that could be taught to benefit the children or adults of Kampala? The charity is always wanting to hear from people who would be willing to share their skills, most recently a retired man taught technical drawing for woodwork to a group of young men.

 We will be keeping up with the story of the class and its students as it progresses. 

 Kids Club Kampala is a UK Registered Charity number 1152451, and a Ugandan Registered NGO number S5914/8496. You can find out more about their other projects here.